The Pros & Cons of Veneers

There are so many cosmetic dentistry options to help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted, and it can be hard to know which treatment will give you the best results. Perhaps one of the most popular and versatile forms of cosmetic dentistry is dental veneers. These thin pieces of porcelain can transform any smile and are often a go-to solution for your dentist in Boerne.

Understanding Veneers

Dental veneers are custom-made shells, usually made of porcelain or plastic, that can be placed over your existing teeth. They are custom-created to match your ideal shade of white and the perfect size and shape. The veneer is bonded onto your teeth in order to strengthen them or change their appearance. Veneers can also be used to close up gaps between teeth. Dental veneers may help improve self-confidence by giving you a smile you love.

Pros of Veneers

Veneers are known for their ability to transform a smile, and they can give people a straighter, whiter smile. And they’re often one of the most affordable ways to makeover a smile. Better yet, veneers don’t take long to do. Your dentist in Boerne can typically complete a veneer treatment in as little as two visits. Dental veneers also don’t require much preparation. While your dentist will need to remove a little bit of tooth enamel to make room for a veneer, it’s only a thin layer. Sometimes, veneers can be an alternative to crowns, which often require a little more preparation. 

Cons of Veneers

As with any type of dental or medical treatment, veneers may not be right for everyone and some people may experience some downsides including: 

  • Veneers are permanent.
  • They can make teeth a bit more sensitive to heat and cold.
  • While porcelain veneers are less susceptible to staining, composite veneers may stain.
  • Veneers aren’t a solution for failing teeth. Talk with your dentist about other options such as crowns. 

However, talking with your dentist in Boerne will help to better understand if any of these risks may apply to you. If so, don’t fret. There are plenty of alternative cosmetic dentistry options available. 

The Truth About Snap-On Veneers

Lately, there’s been an increase in what we can buy online, including snap-on veneers. These are a temporary fix and will not permanently alter your smile. They can also be uncomfortable and cause other problems. If the snap-on veneers don’t fit well they can cause gum irritation and gum recession. Additionally, if they’re worn for long periods of time they can actually start to shift your teeth.

If you’ve been wanting a brighter, whiter, straighter smile, consider talking with your dentist about all of the cosmetic dentistry options available to you. Avoid trying a DYI approach to anything dental, including veneers, orthodontics, and even whitening. It’s always best to talk to a professional first.

Is It Healthy For Teeth to Be REALLY White?

We’ve been programmed to believe that the whiter a smile is, the healthier it is. However, this isn’t always the case. In fact, your dentist in Boerne wants you to know that there is such a thing as a too-white smile, and a smile that’s over-bleached can actually lead to other oral health problems. 

The Truth About Smile Whitening Treatments

Smile whitening is probably the most popular form of cosmetic dentistry done today. However, what was once only available at the dentist can now be done at home without any exam or assurance that the teeth are healthy enough. Additionally, even though over-the-counter whitening treatments can make it easier for people to whiten their teeth, it’s become increasingly popular and has created almost a whitening addiction. Both of which can cause some serious problems. 

More Whitening, More Problems

Now, we should note that smile whitening can be done safely. However, there are issues when someone whose teeth aren’t healthy, or who thinks “the more whitening, the better” whitens their teeth that can cause things to take a turn for the worse.

Over-bleaching your teeth can wear down tooth enamel. Without this protective layer, teeth are put at increased risk for decay, cavities, and sensitivity. Additionally, if your teeth aren’t healthy to begin with, and let’s say you have a cavity, introducing bleaching ingredients can cause uncomfortable zings of pain through your teeth. And the problems don’t end there. 

Many over-the-counter whitening treatments allow too much of the bleach to touch and sit on the gums which can cause gum irritation, sometimes severe. Lastly, too much whitening can actually make your teeth appear more translucent and darker in appearance, which is the opposite of what you want. 

Safely Whiten Your Smile

The best way to get a whiter smile is to first start by talking to your dentist in Boerne. Not only can they help you find the best smile whitening treatment for you, but they can also help you find the best shade of white for your teeth for an overall natural, yet enhanced, look. Whichever smile whitening treatment you agree on, make sure you follow the directions to a “T,” especially if you’re going to use a take-home whitening product. Don’t leave the whitening gel on longer than recommended, and stop use if irritation or sensitivity occurs.  

Even though smile whitening treatments can be found at any grocery store or even ordered online… it doesn’t mean that all of them are created equally. Make sure you do your own research, talk with your dentist in Boerne, and don’t overdo it.  

Is Cosmetic Dentistry Right for Me?

We all want to have a smile that we’re proud of and can feel confident about showing it off in pictures and in public. After all, your smile can say a lot about you. But what do you do if you’re unhappy with your teeth and shy away from sharing it with the world? Turn to your dentist in Boerne to see whether cosmetic dentistry may be the solution you’re looking for. Here is a great place to start. 

Determine What You Want

Before you or your dentist will know whether cosmetic dentistry will give you the smile you want, you need to know what it is you’re trying to achieve. The more specific you can be about what you don’t like about your smile as well as what you wish was different, the more you’ll know about whether or not cosmetic dentistry is the right solution for you. Take these questions into consideration: 

  • Do I wish my teeth were whiter? 
  • Do I want a straighter, more even smile? 
  • Does this minor chip in my front tooth really bother me? Would I feel better if it was fixed?

Find the Best Cosmetic Dentist for You

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of desires, the fun part of finding the best dentist for you can begin. Although it may seem like a daunting task, it really doesn’t have to be. Check-in with family and friends to see if they have any recommendations or head online to search for local cosmetic dentists in your area. Read reviews, check out websites, and look at before and after photos. After you’ve decided on a dentist, schedule a consultation

Know What Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments Are Out There

There are several treatments that all fall under the category of cosmetic dentistry, but not all of them are right for every situation. Let’s check out a few common treatments. 

  • Teeth Whitening – If you want to take your teeth from dull and discolored to bright and white, you may want to consider a professional smile whitening treatment. Whitening that’s done by your dentist in Boerne can boost your teeth up to several shades brighter in just one visit. 
  • Veneers  – Like teeth whitening, veneers can help brighten the appearance of dull, discolored teeth that don’t respond to bleaching. Veneers essentially cover up the front surface of teeth with a thin piece of porcelain. They’re custom created in shape and color for a natural look so nobody will even know they’re there. 
  • Bonding – Dental bonding is another option that can correct discoloration but it can also fix minor chips, cracks, or gaps for a more even smile. The process involves both science and art to create a natural appearance but the results can transform a smile.

Nobody should have to live with a smile they’re unhappy with. Luckily, we have cosmetic dentistry to help. If you’re considering cosmetic dentistry, make a list of what you’d like to change, research cosmetic dentists in Boerne, and become familiar with which treatments can help you get the look you want. Finally, make the move and schedule a consultation. Your journey to a new smile is only a phone call away. 

Can I Safely Whiten My Smile On My Own?

In today’s digital age, we’re constantly exposed to products and DIY tips to do anything, including whitening your smile. While we understand that the desire to get a brighter grin is a very real thing for many of our patients, your dentist in Boerne wants to educate you on some of the dangers lurking behind some of the most popular DIY smile whitening trends.

Over-The-Counter Whitening Pens & Strips

There are so many over-the-counter whitening products available to us that it can be overwhelming. While many of these products can work to whiten your teeth, they don’t come without their risks. Whitening pens and whitening strips, for example, can temporarily transform your smile, but their results can oftentimes be less than ideal. Since neither whitening pens nor whitening strips are custom-made, there’s a greater chance that they won’t reach all areas of the teeth and the results can end up looking uneven or streaky. But there’s another reason your dentist in Boerne may be concerned with you using these treatments. Many times the whitening solution in whitening pens and strips can soak into your gum tissue and cause irritation.

All-Natural Smile Whitening

A popular smile whitening trend that seems to be taking the internet by storm is the use of all-natural whitening remedies. Don’t let the term “all-natural” lead you into thinking that all of these solutions are safe and recommended. The truth is, there is danger behind some of the popular all-natural whitening tricks.

Lemon Juice 
We’ve seen an increase in people claiming that there are smile whitening benefits of applying lemon juice or a mixture of lemon juice and other natural ingredients directly to teeth. While it’s true that lemon juice may slightly whiten teeth temporarily, it’s not recommended. Lemon juice is highly acidic and acid is a big no-no when it comes to protecting the integrity of tooth enamel. Too much acid, especially when it’s applied directly onto teeth, can easily damage tooth enamel and lead to increased tooth sensitivity, and a higher risk for decay and cavities.

Baking Soda
Another popular all-natural smile whitening trend that’s been around for quite some time is baking soda. Again, like lemon juice, baking soda or toothpastes that contain baking soda may temporarily whiten teeth, but due to its abrasive nature it can also damage tooth enamel. Once tooth enamel is gone, there’s no way to get it back and teeth are left exposed to bad bacteria and are at risk for larger oral health concerns long-term.

Activated Charcoal
Yet another all-natural whitening treatment is activated charcoal. Supporters of activated charcoal promise that it will easily and effectively pull impurities and stains out of the teeth, resulting in a whiter appearance. However, charcoal is also abrasive and poses the same risks as baking soda. It can wear away and damage tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities. What’s more is that teeth may begin to appear more discolored as we lose enamel.

 
Just because there are many ways you can whiten your teeth on your own – it doesn’t necessarily mean you should utilize them. Before you consider a DIY approach to smile whitening, talk with your dentist in Boerne to better understand safe and effective options.

Oral Health for Seniors

August 21st is Senior Citizens Day, and there’s no better way for our dental office in Boerne to celebrate than by sharing some oral health information for the favorite senior citizens we have in our lives and their families.  

The truth is, our oral health needs will vary as we celebrate more birthdays, and needs will also differ from person to person. That’s one reason we believe in treating each person with individualized, custom care. When it comes to the senior population, there are a few unique things to be aware of. 

  • Discolored TeethWhile anyone can experience discolored teeth, there’s usually an explanation. Maybe morning coffee is to blame, or perhaps smoking or red wine. But when it comes to seniors, discoloration may occur without any obvious explanation. Most commonly, tooth discoloration as we age is a typical sign that the white outer layer of our teeth (enamel) is wearing away and becoming thinner. When this happens, your teeth can become a little transparent and the inner workings of the tooth become more visible. As it turns out, the insides of teeth are not as white as the outsides, and the more we’re able to see them, the more dark or yellow teeth can appear. 
  • Dry MouthDry mouth is another condition that can happen to anyone, but it does tend to be more common in seniors. Many times, medication is to blame. There are tons of over-the-counter medications and prescription medications that list dry mouth as a side effect. When these medications are taken regularly, saliva production slows down and the mouth becomes dry… and there is nothing bacteria like better than a dry mouth. Without saliva on hand to rinse away bacteria and neutralize acid, teeth are at an increased risk for developing cavities. If these cavities aren’t treated, they could lead to the need for a root canal, cause tooth sensitivity, or even tooth loss. If you’re experiencing dry mouth, do not stop taking your medication as prescribed, but do talk to your dentist in Boerne
  • Tooth LossLet’s start by saying that there’s no guarantee that we’ll lose our teeth as we get older. There are plenty of people who keep their teeth for a lifetime, especially if they see their dentist regularly and practice good oral hygiene habits. However, tooth loss can be a real concern for many people. The best ways to reduce the risk of tooth loss is to avoid smoking or using tobacco, limiting alcohol intake, and seeing your dentist in Boerne every six months. These preventative dental appointments help identify problems early while they’re still often easily treatable and can help save your teeth. 
  • Gum DiseaseOne of the more serious concerns for seniors’ oral health is gum disease. In fact, research suggests a strong link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and stroke. Gum disease occurs when bacteria isn’t removed and it works its way under the gum line. Once this occurs, it becomes difficult to remove and can lead to an infection or advanced gum disease. If not treated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. The common signs of gum disease include red, bleeding, and inflamed gums. 

Unfortunately, there’s no way we can stop ourselves from getting older. But there are things we can do to help protect our teeth for life. Always brush twice a day and floss once a day, and get a professional dental cleaning and check-up at least twice a year. If you’re overdue for your dental appointment, we welcome you to call our Boerne dental office to schedule a visit with us today. 

Smile Whitening Options

Have you ever wished that your teeth were whiter? We understand. We all want a bright, white smile that we’re happy to show off to the world. But many things can cause tooth discoloration — from your daily cup of coffee to your nightcap glass of red wine, or delicious tomato sauce to yummy berries. What can you do to take your teeth from dull to white? Our dental office in Boerne is here to help.

Professional Tooth Whitening

If you’re looking for a fast, dramatic tooth whitening option, consider a professional smile whitening from your dentist in Boerne. A professional tooth whitening can transform your smile quickly and can even make your smile several shades whiter in just one treatment. While typically more expensive than over-the-counter whitening products, professional smile whitening can give you the immediate results you’re looking for.

Over-the-Counter Smile Whitening Products

There’s a certain appeal to over-the-counter smile whitening products. They’re often cheaper than a professional whitening, and they can brighten your teeth. However, results usually appear over time and are certainly not immediate. Additionally, there are some risks involved with over-the-counter whitening strips and trays. For example, if the solution stays on too long or it sits on your gums, it can lead to damage and increased sensitivity.

When Whitening Isn’t Enough

There are times when neither over-the-counter whitening nor professional whitening is enough to get you the look you want. In fact, there are some types of stains that don’t respond to the whitening solution and will never go away no matter how much you try. When this happens, the best way to whiten your smile is through dental veneers. Dental veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that are fixed to the surface of your teeth covering up any imperfections, including stains.

When deciding on the best way to whiten your smile, start by talking with your dentist in Boerne. They’ll be able to help you determine what kind of staining you have and if a whitening product will work for you before you invest.

If you’re looking to brighten and whiten your smile, call our dental office in Boerne to schedule an appointment. We’ll work with you to determine how white you want your teeth to be and then we’ll discuss the best option for you.

All About Cosmetic Dentistry

We want you to be proud enough of your smile to show it off to the world. After all, it should make you feel confident, proud, and happy. But we understand that not everyone is born with a naturally straight, white smile. We also know that accidents, age, and some habits can change your grin over time. At our dental office in Boerne, we offer various forms of cosmetic dentistry that can transform your smile into one you love.

Professional Smile Whitening

Perhaps the most common cosmetic dentistry treatment we get asked about is tooth whitening. Tooth whitening can be done by your dentist in Boerne or we can provide you with a professional strength whitening gel and custom-made molds that you can use to whiten in the comfort of your own home. If you’re looking to whiten or brighten your smile, professional tooth whitening can certainly do the trick.

Porcelain Veneers

While professional smile whitening can be really successful, there are some stains that won’t be fixed by whitening alone. If this is the case, dental veneers may be the right option for you. Veneers are thin slices of custom-created porcelain that are permanently bonded to the tooth’s surface. Their shape and color are designed to blend with other teeth in your mouth to appear incredibly natural. Besides covering up stains, porcelain veneers can also help fill gaps, fix crooked teeth, and repair chipped teeth. Since the veneers usually allow a lot of the natural tooth to remain intact, they may be preferred over a dental crown.

Porcelain Crowns

Like veneers, crowns can help fix chips, cracks, and broken teeth. However, crowns are usually reserved for areas that have more damage. Crowns are also custom-created to compliment the size, shape, and color of neighboring teeth but cover more of a tooth than a veneer. Dental crowns may also be used following a root canal or after removing large areas of decay to restore a tooth’s strength and function.  

Cosmetic Bonding

Another option to fix a broken or chipped tooth is cosmetic bonding. Reserved for smaller chips, dental bonding can easily restore a tooth’s appearance by rebuilding the injured area. Again, the bonding material is mixed to just the right color so that it blends in with the rest of the tooth. Bonding can also be used to help repair a tooth that has been worn down from clenching or grinding.

Our Boerne dental office is here to not only keep our neighbors’ smiles healthy but to also make sure they love the way their smiles look too. Schedule an appointment with us today to see how we can transform your smile into one you’re proud to show off.

The Do’s & Don’ts to Getting a White Smile

As we near Labor Day, many people will begin packing away their white clothes until next year. After all, wearing white after Labor Day is typically considered a fashion faux pas. However, at our dental office in Boerne, we believe that a white smile never goes out style, and you should be proud to show yours off all year around. But what do you do if your smile isn’t as white and bright as you’d like? Join us as we talk about a few do’s and don’ts  to getting a white smile you love.

Start with Your Dentist

If you’re unhappy with the color of your smile we recommend scheduling an appointment with your dentist in Boerne. At this visit you and your dental team will discuss what it is you don’t like as well as what you’d like to see. This will allow your team to make the best recommendation for you.

Professional Smile Whitening

One option for getting a brighter smile is a professional smile whitening treatment. Done either at your dentist’s office or at home with specialized whitening gel, a professional smile whitening can boost your smile’s look better than the over-the-counter whiteners.

Dental Veneers

Another treatment option that can help transform your look is dental veneers. These thin pieces of custom-create porcelain cover your natural teeth and can not only give you a whiter smile, but can also fix minor cosmetic concerns such as chipped teeth.

After you complete your treatment, whichever one you choose, there are few things you’ll want to do, and several that you’ll to avoid, in order to keep your new look as white as possible.  

DO use straws whenever possible, especially if you’ll be drinking soda, tea, coffee or anything that may stain teeth. Using a straw helps keep the liquid off of teeth, limiting the chance for staining.

DON’T smoke or use tobacco of any kind. Tobacco can yellow your teeth or even cause brown spots. Of course, it also increases your risk for oral cancer, gum disease, and other whole-body health problems.

DON’T forget to brush and floss every day. Removing any plaque and bacteria from the teeth will help keep stains away and protect your smile against decay. Decay will also cause teeth to discolor if not treated.

DO maintain regular visits with your dentist to help remove plaque and tartar buildup. Too much plaque or tartar makes it easier for staining agents in foods and drinks to stick. The stains are then more difficult to remove.

If you’re ready to sport a bright, white smile this Labor Day and all year around, we welcome you to call our Boerne dental office to schedule an appointment today. We’re always here to help!

All About Veneers

At our Boerne dental office we often have patients who are unhappy with the way their smiles look. But thanks to cosmetic dentistry, there are a number of ways that we can help transform the appearance of smiles. One of the most common and versatile cosmetic dentistry options available are dental veneers.

What Are Veneers and What Are They Used For?

As the name implies, dental veneers are used to cover up existing teeth. Made of porcelain, veneers are incredibly diverse and can be used to fix many cosmetic concerns which may otherwise take several separate procedures. Each veneer is custom-created to mimic the size, shape, and color of other teeth so the finished look is natural and enhances overall appearance. Veneers can be used to correct:

  • Teeth discoloration that couldn’t be brightened through whitening
  • Worn teeth
  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Crookedness
  • Unevenness or shape irregularities
  • Gaps

Veneer Treatment

    • Consultation. The first step to getting dental veneers is to set up a consultation with your dentist in Boerne. The purpose of this appointment is to have an honest conversation about what you’d like to change about your smile to see if dental veneers are the best option for what you want. You will also review a treatment plan, discuss costs, and schedule your next visit.
    • Preparation. Your veneer procedure will begin with your dental team preparing your tooth or teeth for the veneer. This usually includes the gentle removal of a thin layer of tooth enamel. Afterwards, temporary veneers will likely be placed and your dentist will send your permanent veneers and specific instructions to a trusted lab to be custom made.  
    • Bonding. You’ll come back for a second appointment when the permanent veneers are ready. At this visit, your dentist will carefully and artfully place the veneers. That process requires a bit of scuffing to your natural tooth and strong adhesive material for tight, permanent bond.

You don’t need to live with a smile you’re just not happy with. Cosmetic dentistry can enhance your smile, your confidence, and your life. Call our dental office in Boerne to schedule a consultation today.

The Not So Lucky Side Effects of Green Beer

Every March 17th, we’re all a little bit Irish and join in the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day by putting on our best green outfit and possibly meeting up with friends at a local bar. As one of the largest drinking days of the year, our dental office in Boerne wants to remind our patients and neighbors to enjoy the holiday responsibly and to make them aware of a few unwanted side effects of all that beer (especially the green kind).

Yellow, Brown, or Green Teeth

Drinking beer excessively can began to discolor your teeth over time. A good rule of thumb to remember is the darker the beer, the more likely it is to stain your teeth. This discoloration can take on a yellow or brown appearance, or when drinking beer that’s been dyed for St. Patrick’s Day, your smile may even take on a green tint relatively quickly. This green look isn’t permanent and can be treated with either a whitening toothpaste, which is a bit more abrasive than regular toothpaste and can scrub away surface stains, or with a professional dental cleaning or smile whitening treatment.  

Enamel Erosion

Your tooth enamel is one of the strongest substances in your body, but that doesn’t make it impervious to damage. One of the most common causes of enamel erosion is too much acid in your diet, and beer is surprisingly acidic. When this acid comes in contact with your teeth it essentially eats away the protective enamel coating. As enamel diminishes, your teeth may become more sensitive and appear thinner and darker.

How to Minimize the Danger

We’re not here to tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t enjoy an adult beverage every now and then, as long as you’re of legal drinking age and are drinking responsibly. But if you choose to drink alcohol, there are ways that you can minimize your risk of the dangers described above, such as:

  • Alternating drinking a glass of alcohol with a glass of water
  • Brushing your teeth twice a day
  • Flossing every day
  • Seeing your dentist in Boerne regularly

We typically recommend regular dental visits twice a year. If it’s been longer than six months since you’ve been to a Boerne dentist, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with us today to help keep your smile in good health.